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ObamaCare, Done the Chicago Way

National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is a political committee devoted to maintaining and increasing the 239-member Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Newly released e-mails show the shocking lengths Democrats went to in order to force ObamaCare on the American people, including backroom deals with special interests:

QUID PRO QUO, CHICAGO-STYLE: “Drugmakers led by Pfizer (PFE) (PFE) Inc. agreed to run a ‘very significant public campaign’ bankrolling political support for the 2010 health-care law, including TV ads, while the Obama administration promised to block provisions opposed by drugmakers, documents released by Republicans show.” (Drew Armstrong, “Drugmakers Vowed to Campaign for Health Law, Memos Show,” Bloomberg, 5/31/2012)

OBAMA PROMISED SPECIAL INTERESTS PROTECTION IN EXCHANGE FOR SPENDING MILLIONS TO PROMOTE OBAMACARE: “In a June 2009 email, President Obama’s point person on health care promised the pharmaceutical industry it would be protected against efforts to allow cheap drugs to be re-imported from Canada, because drug lobbyists had been ‘constructive’ in their secret negotiations with White House officials. … As part of the final deal, PhRMA agreed to support health care legislation, spend millions on ads promoting it, and agree to $80 billion in savings and taxes to help finance the bill.” (Phillip Klein, “Emails Reveal Secret Obamacare Deal with Drug Cos,” The Washington Examiner, 5/31/2012)

PhRMA MEMO: “INDUSTRY PROVIDES THE MAJORITY OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT” FOR PRO-OBAMACARE ADS: “A PhRMA memo described a group called Health Economy Now, and noted that under an agreement ‘the industry provides the majority of financial support for positive TV ads advocating passage of health reform.’ It also provided financial backing for television ads thanking lawmakers for their support of an expansion of children’s health care insurance under Medicaid, the U.S. insurance program for the poor, and a campaign called ‘Harry and Louise,’ run with Families USA, a Washington-based pro-health care reform group that advocates for consumers.” (Drew Armstrong, “Drugmakers Vowed to Campaign for Health Law, Memos Show,” Bloomberg, 5/31/2012)

DRUG COMPANIES GOT A LAW THAT PROVIDED THEM “MILLIONS OF NEW CUSTOMERS”: “In exchange, PhRMA not only ended up with a law that promised to provide it with millions of new customers, but protected it against policies contemplated by Democrats that would have been harmful to their profits, such as introducing a government plan into the Medicare prescription drug program, allowing rebates for drug purchases through the program and drug re-importation.” (Phillip Klein, “Emails Reveal Secret Obamacare Deal with Drug Cos,” The Washington Examiner, 5/31/2012)

OBAMA BROKE A CAMPAIGN PROMISE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SO HE COULD MAKE A DEAL WITH DRUG COMPANIES: “As The Wall Street Journal and others reported at the time, the companies escaped price controls and forced the president to back down on his 2008 campaign promise to allow the reimportation of cheaper drugs from other countries.” (Alicia Mundy, “E-mails Describe Deal-Making on Obama Health Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/31/2012)

DRUG COMPANIES “WON OTHER UNPUBLICIZED DEALS FROM THE ADMINISTRATION” THAT WHITE HOUSE DENIED AT THE TIME: “The emails show that drug makers won other unpublicized deals from the administration, which both the White House and the pharmaceutical lobby repeatedly denied at the time but were later disclosed in news reports. They included a promise from the White House not to demand that drug makers negotiate Medicare prices with the federal government, which could have reduced drug costs.” (Alicia Mundy, “E-mails Describe Deal-Making on Obama Health Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/31/2012)

“THE WHITE HOUSE THREATENED TO SHAME THE INDUSTRY PUBLICLY IF THE NEGOTIATIONS FELL APART”: “At one point, the White House threatened to shame the industry publicly if the negotiations fell apart, according to an email written June 10 by a PhRMA lobbyist. ‘Barack Obama is going to announce in his Saturday radio address support for rebating all of [Medicare Part] D unless we come to a deal. So they are punishing us’ for refusing to concede, he wrote, referring to a proposal to require rebates in across-the-bard Medicare’s prescription-drug program. ‘They can’t get 60 votes for that [in the Senate]. It isn’t even a real threat,’ the email concluded. The president’s radio address, three days later, didn’t include the line.” (Alicia Mundy, “E-mails Describe Deal-Making on Obama Health Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/31/2012)

HOUSE DEMOCRATS’ RESPONSE? SPECIAL INTEREST DEALS ARE JUST “ALWAYS DONE”: “ ‘President Obama’s efforts to enlist the support of private industry are exactly what presidents have always done to enact major legislation,’ U.S. Representatives Henry Waxman of California and Diana DeGette of Colorado said in a joint statement.” (Drew Armstrong, “Drugmakers Vowed to Campaign for Health Law, Memos Show,” Bloomberg, 5/31/2012)

These backroom deals were in addition to the special treatment Big Labor received through waivers from ObamaCare and other favors:

“DEMOCRATS PROTECT[ED] BACKROOM DEALS” TO PASS OBAMACARE: “The health care bill is in trouble, but a series of narrow deals — each designed to win over a wavering senator or key interest group — is alive and well, despite voter anger over the parochial horse-trading that marked the rush toward passage before Christmas.” (Carrie Budoff Brown and Patrick O’Connor, “Democrats Protect Backroom Deals,” Politico, 2/3/2010)

“DEMOCRATS HAMMERED FOR ‘BACK-ROOM’ DEAL WITH UNIONS ON HEALTH CARE”: “In pushing a giant step closer to a health care reform deal, Democratic leaders are once again drawing fire from their critics for extending special treatment to an interest group in exchange for its support of the bill. The latest deal was struck Thursday among the White House, Congress and union leaders over the proposed tax on high-value ‘Cadillac’ health insurance plans.” (Major Garrett and Trish Turner, “Democrats Hammered for “Back-Room’ Deal with Unions on Health Care,” Fox News, 1/15/2010)

AND DEMOCRATS’ ALLIES GOT WAIVERS FROM OBAMACARE:

OBAMA’S HHS HAS GRANTED OVER 1,200 WAIVERS UNDER OBAMACARE: (Sam Baker, “HHS Finalizes 1,200 Waivers Under Healthcare Reform Law,” The Hill, 1/6/2012)

NANCY PELOSI’S DISTRICT THE “HANDS-DOWN WINNER” IN RECEIVING HEALTHCARE LAW WAIVERS: (“Restaurants, Cafes in Pelosi’s District Eat Up Health Care Law Waivers,” FoxNews.com, 5/17/2011)

“LABOR UNIONS PRIMARY RECIPIENTS OF OBAMACARE WAIVERS”: (Paul Conner, “Labor Unions Primary Recipients of ObamaCare Waivers,” The Daily Caller, 1/7/2012)

543,812 UNION MEMBERS GOT OBAMACARE WAIVERS, ONLY 69,813 PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES: (Paul Conner, “Labor Unions Primary Recipients of ObamaCare Waivers,” The Daily Caller, 1/7/2012)

Apparently backroom deals are the Chicago definition of transparency:

OBAMA SAID “WE’LL HAVE THE NEGOTIATIONS TELEVISED ON C-SPAN, SO THAT PEOPLE CAN SEE WHO IS MAKING ARGUMENT ON BEHALF OF THEIR CONSTITUENTS, AND WHO IS MAKING ARGUMENTS ON BEHALF OF THE DRUG COMPANIES”: “But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who is making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.” (Angie Drobnic Holan, “Negotiate Health Care Reform in Public Sessions on C-SPAN,” PolitiFact, 6/10/2009)

OOPS: C-SPAN CALLED OUT DEMOCRATS FOR BREAKING THEIR TRANSPARENCY VOW: (Stephanie Condon, “C-SPAN Calls for More Transparent Healthcare Talks,” CBS News, 1/5/2010)

“OBAMA RENEGES ON HEALTHCARE TRANSPARENCY”: “President Obama wants the final negotiations on health care reform - a reconciliation of the House and Senate versions of the bill - put on a fast track, even if that means breaking an explicit campaign promise.” (Chip Reid, “Obama Reneges on Healthcare Transparency,” CBS News, 1/07/2010)

at Jun 1, 2012 5:22 PM